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Saturday, September 27, 2008

New Ways to Fight Obesity and Diabetes

An equipment made for UQ researchers will find out how to manufacture food that's better, healthy-wise as well as tastes good. Professor Bob Gilbert, a UQ researcher said that unhealthy lifestyle is an important factor in the obesity and diabetes epidemics in Australia but is not entirely responsible for the epidemic.

Professor Gilbert said that a significant part of the problem is the change in the starch contained in the food we eat. Starch provides 50% of food energy in Australia and up to 90% on Asian diets. It is therefore helpful to find out what starches are good for us.

There is a new equipment made in Germany for the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia that will help do this by measuring the starch structure. This will it make it possible to put the data in a significant framework.

This will enable the researchers to make sense of this information. The new techniques developed by the Centre for Nutrition and Food Sciences at University of Queensland will supply the necessary tools to produce foods that are both healthy and tasteful.

There are some precautionary measures for those who have gestationaldiabetes.
The nutrition therapy for these women is not designed to lose weight but rather it is to eat the right food in the right amount and at the right time in order to manage the blood sugar level.

Exercising will also help lower the blood glucose level. There is really no excuse not to exercise. Many can swim, walk and just be active. This will limit the weight gain during pregnancy especially if one is obese before. Moderate exercise is possible.

The most crucial trigger of diabetes is obesity. How do they define obesity? It is having a mass index of 30 or greater. Mind you, genetics may play a role in becoming obese also. Is it any surprise that genetics may play a role in causing type 2 diabetes? And so, this new study on starch can go a long way in helping us get the nutritious way of eating.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Type 2 Diabetes Treatment - New Drugs?

Researchers used genetically engineered mice whose livers turned like light bulbs at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies. They did this to help them find out more about type 2 diabetes. They found that a protein called Torc2 acts as the key that links feeding, insulin and high blood sugar in the liver. These findings of Torc2 and of the enzyme called SIK can be useful for treating type 2 diabetes.

Drugs taken by mouth in order to treat diabetes are called oral hypoglycemic agents. This is really a wrong name as medications are not given to cause hypoglycemia. The purpose for taking them is to lower the blood glucose level to within normal target.

It is good to remember at this point that oral medications that lower the blood glucose level are not insulin. The ability of the oral medications to lower the sugar level has been known. The same is true with the sugar-lowering ability of some herbs and plants.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that one of three Americans born in 2000 will develop diabetes. It says further that it is not curable and that it can cause blindness, heart disease, kidney problems and other serious complications. That is why aforementioned studies like the above are most welcome.

There is a caveat here. Diabetic mothers should not take oral hypoglycemic drugs due to possible undesirable effects on the fetus. Dietary control, monitoring of the blood glucose level plus exercise as recommended by the physician will result in successful diabetic pregnancies with healthy babies.

Now the researchers in the aforementioned study found that a protein called Torc2 acts as the key that links feeding, insulin and high blood sugar in the liver. In this case, we may be able to see new drugs coming in to treat type 2 diabetes. And we will welcome this as it will add to our arsenal on how is diabetes treated.

To this, I will add. It is not going to happen if we stay vigilant in lifestyle modification. We will eat healthy, indulge in physical activity and follow the doctor's orders. If we are at risk for diabetes, we will request to be screened for it so that we can start the lifestyle modification to prevent it from coming.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

How Cells That Secrete Insulin Keep Sensitivity to Glucose

There's good news from Karolinska Institutet, the leading Swedish Medical University, about the insulin-secreting cells. It appears they have resolved the question as to how these cells keep their sensitivity to insulin. This is important news as we will learn how the body can maintain blood glucose absorption within the normal targets to avoid diabetes.

We know that insulin controls the transport of glucose to muscles and tissues by releasing hormones. It was a mystery how these insulin-secreting cells keep the correct amount that is necessary for the glucose transport. But now the scientists at Rolf Luft Research Center for Diabetes and Endocrinology at Karolinska Institutet have discovered a new traffic way where the sugar helps the insulin secretion controller do its job.

Professor Berggren said this discovery is important as it gives the insulin-secreting cells an effective way to keep up with the correct amount to maintain blood concentration within normal target thus avoiding the development of diabetes.

Let's have some more information about insulin. It is fascinating yet exasperating to know how the body uses insulin. Why? It is because its use is inconsistent. No matter how consistent one is in injecting the same amount of insulin, one can find there is more than adequate amount to do its job on the blood glucose.

There are many factors that can affect how much insulin the body needs:

  • how much one eats

  • what foods one eats

  • how much exercise one does

  • when the exercise occurs in relation to the schedule of medication

  • one's overall health

  • injection site

  • the stress one has to handle

As one can see, it is not easy to manage all the above. No matter how much one tries, the insulin could still be stubborn and work on the blood glucose although the level has fallen too low to the point that hypoglycemia may occur.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Reduce Diabetes Damage

Mandrell, AKA Mr. Diabetes, tried to walk across the nation for diabetes but dropped Saturday morning in Columbia. He said there's no cure for diabetes and that it's a 24-7 life sentence. He was first diagnosed with diabetes when he was forty years old in 1985.

He was in denial so he did not watch his condition carefully and so it got worse. He had to walk with a cane because his feet and legs were numb. Then he had eye surgery because he was going blind. That's why he chose to walk to raise awareness.

He wanted people to take responsibilities for themselves and not wait for cure. He wanted them to know that three things could reduce the damage diabetes can do. What are they? See a doctor regularly, eat healthy and be physically active.

That said, let's see what one of the authorities has to say. From the American Diabetes Association we get the most common treatments for diabetes. What are they? They're not too far away from what Mr. Diabetes recommended. They are:

  • Healthy meals to manage blood glucose and blood lipid levels, maintain weight and reduce the need for additional medications.

  • Exercise to lower blood glucose and blood levels, be physically fit, raise one's sensitivity to medications and maintain healthy weight with the help of the meal plans.

  • Diabetes medications taken orally to lower blood glucose levels by decreasing resistance to insulin, reducing blood glucose levels and improving the release of insulin.

  • Injection of insulin to reduce the blood glucose levels and to make-up for the inability of the pancreas to produce insulin.

There you are. If we follow those common treatments, we should be able to avoid the complications. We have to be consistent though, to walk the walk instead of just talking the talk. It is very important that we take care of ourselves instead of just waiting for a cure.